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Old August 25th, 2006, 05:27 PM   #1
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New Product Information

A while back I saw a post about a new model fluid head. I thought I had saved the information, but apparently I didn't. This new head is, as I remembered, well suited for cameras like the XL2 or H1. Also apparent, this new model is flying out of the stores and creating a back order situation. I want to say that it is made in Italy, but I'm not sure. I have searched the different forums, but have drawn a blank. Perhaps someone will remember and help me out. Thanks in advance.
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Old August 26th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #2
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Maybe the Cartoni Focus? Cartoni is an Italian company and the Focus was introduced in early 2005.
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Old August 27th, 2006, 02:05 PM   #3
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Thanks Tim....It sounds very much like it would be the one. I checked B&H, and it was on a long backorder. Also a little research indicated that it was the most affordable true fluid head on the market. Again, thanks.....
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Old August 27th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #4
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ZGC has them listed at $875, head, 100mm bowl, and one pan bar. It doesn't sound like the most affordable. The 503 is also a fluid head, and they are about half the price. Why isn't the 503 a true fluid head?
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Old August 27th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #5
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Look at the 503 spec. "Pan & Tilt Drag: 1 step, plus variable Teflon friction." I don't see any fluid mentioned. Also the 503 doesn't have any counter balance design. "Fluid" is a term for movement, and should not be confused for the design and construction of a head. O'Connor is a true fluid head. Although Cartoni isn't a O'Connor, many of the design principles used by O'Connor are also used by Cartoni. By no means is the Cartoni a cheap O'Connor knock off, just that it's probably better than any Bogan currently on the market. I have a 501 and know people with just about every so called fluid head that Bogan currently produces, and for the most part there all junk.
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Old August 27th, 2006, 06:04 PM   #6
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Gotcha. I thought the 503 was the starting point for the real fluid heads. I also thought that about the 501 I got, and was sorely dissappointed with it.
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Old August 27th, 2006, 08:59 PM   #7
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Keith,
When I purchased my XL1 in 2000, it sucked up most all of my budget, leaving next to nothing for a tripod and video head. I found that the Bogan 501 with a tripod was very cost effective and allowed getting out in the field right away. After using it for the last 6 years, I still have problems with smooth tilts. This is a real problem when wildlife, especially birds, is your subject matter. Last week I was on a paid shoot with a supplied XL H1 and a $5k O'Connor tripod and head on a 150mm ball. The O'Connor rig, though a bit heavy and over kill for the H1, was the nicest piece of gear I have ever worked with. That being said, I'm not about to go out and purchase something like this, but I now know what very good is, and I'll look around and try to find a product that might approach that kind of feel in the under $2K range. Bottom line, no matter how hard it hurts, put your money in a good head early on, unless you want to through life with a lot of blown shots, which translates into wasted time, money, and knowing that it didn't have to happen.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 07:38 PM   #8
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Don, if you've used an OConnor then you might want to evaluate other heads in addition to the Focus before making a decision. The Focus is a decent entry-level professional head but they did have to make some compromises in order to make it affordable at only $700 or so. I knew what these compromises were and almost bought it anyway but after evaluating a few other heads, I decided that I probably wouldn't be satified with it in the long run. It would just be waste of money because I'll end up buying another head that I am satisfied with so I might as well buy the one I want now. So look at other heads and even used heads and make sure you like it! Good luck!
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Old August 28th, 2006, 08:07 PM   #9
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I am for sure going to look at everything, but also try with my camera, lens, tape, and in a real shooting situation. I have looked at the Vinten "Vision" series at the last two DV Expo shows in Los Angeles, and they also impressed me both in function and price. Burn me once, but never again.
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim N Le
Don, if you've used an OConnor then you might want to evaluate other heads in addition to the Focus before making a decision. The Focus is a decent entry-level professional head but they did have to make some compromises in order to make it affordable at only $700 or so. I knew what these compromises were and almost bought it anyway but after evaluating a few other heads, I decided that I probably wouldn't be satified with it in the long run. It would just be waste of money because I'll end up buying another head that I am satisfied with so I might as well buy the one I want now. So look at other heads and even used heads and make sure you like it! Good luck!
Hi Tim, would you please share with us the limitation you observed in the Focus head? Which head you ended up buying? I have a DVX100A and now looking for a tripod system.
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 02:11 PM   #11
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Hi Paul, regarding the Focus:

- It doesn't have a separate top sliding platform for balance. The QR plate is the balance plate. Not a deal breaker, but it's nice to have a sliding platform independent of the QR plate.
- The knobs weren't very ergonomic to me.
- The telescoping pan arm seems to flex too much.
- The tilt platform seems to flex too much on heavy drag.
- On heavy drag and telephoto, the head seems to have some whiplash, or "spring back" at the end of the movement. But this could be caused in part by the tripod legs that it was on.

Keep in mind I'm pretty picky when it comes to camera support so my criteria might be more stringent than yours. Also the term "flex too much" is very subjective so I encourage people to seek out and try these heads for themselves with a live camera if possible. The Focus is a decent head, but it's only $800 and there is only so much they can do.

I ended up buying an OConnor Ultimate DV head. This is a variant of the OConnor 515. Unfortunately they don't make this head anymore.
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